The Westboro Baptist Church causes outrage after judges rule that Albert Snyder, father of a fallen Marine, pay $16,510.80 in court costs to church member Fred Phelps. Members of the church, located in Topeka, Kansas, picketed Snyder's late son's funeral - all because Snyder's son was gay. On Tuesday the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered Snyder to pay money to the church which held up signs that read "God hates fags" and "God hates the USA" after his gay son, Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder, was killed in Iraq.
The Westboro Baptist Church frequently targets funerals of dead, gay military soldiers, insisting that the fallen soldiers' deaths are "god's punishment" for being gay. Tuesday's court ruling comes after an preliminary hearing granted Snyder $11 million dollars in damages after a jury found the church guilty of "emotional distress." Snyder's reward was later diminished to $5 million dollars. The verdict was later overturned in appeal.
People throughout the United States have reacted strongly in support of Snyder through donations to the Albert Snyder Fund. Any monies donated will assist in Snyder paying the Church’s court costs and be used for any future appeals. Snyder has over 3,000 emails in his inbox supporting him, as well as a Facebook group by the name of "I support Al Snyder in His Fight Against Westboro Baptist Church" with 43,000 members, and countless postings of support.